Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2008/Adult Swim/Warner DVD)
Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Feature: A
Star Wars is a global
sensation and a common rallying point for geeks around the world, which is why
it’s not surprising that the show Robot
Chicken has gained its greatest notoriety poking fun at the legendary
franchise. In 2007 the show’s first Star Wars episode became a television,
DVD and internet sensation and now the second Star Wars episode, just as
hilarious and scathing as the first, is out on DVD.
Robot Chicken was co-created
by Seth Green who writes, directs, produces, and provides voice work for the
show. Each episode consists of a series
of short sketches and even shorter quick gags that may or may not fit together
into a (very) rough storyline. The show
is frenetic, full of pop culture references, and quite possibly the funniest
show on television. For scholars, Robot Chicken is probably the purest
expression of postmodernism you will ever find.
The gags in the half-hour show poke fun at merchandising efforts (My
Little Tauntaun), what-ifs (Storm Trooper Bring-Your-Daughter-to-Work Day), and
the mundane parts of the Star Wars
universe we never saw in the movies (Emperor Palpatine’s relationship with his
barber). The jokes are smart,
insightful, and show a devotion to the fan culture surrounding Star Wars rather than deriding it. In addition to the usual cast of voice actors
including Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane, and Breckin Meyer, this episode also
features cameos from Andy Richter, Conan O’Brien (returning from the first Star Wars episode), and original Star Wars cast members Carrie Fisher, Billie Dee Williams
(both of whom had cameos in another Star
Wars tribute, Fanboys), and Ahmed Best reprising his role as Jar Jar Binks.
The picture and sound quality on the disc are excellent, with Dolby
Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio and a 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio
preserved from the show’s original television airing. The disc gives you the option of watching the
original broadcast version at 22 minutes, or the special extended version with
an additional 16 minutes of content.
This disc contains a total of 14 different special features, too
numerous to list, that come to a total running time of over 90 minutes. They deal largely with the behind-the-scenes
process of writing and executing the episode along with the pomp and fanfare
from fans and George Lucas himself.
Unlike many other releases that try to drag out their special features
sections by repackaging the same content, each feature on this disc is fresh,
fun, and informative.
You could absolutely watch the entire broadcast episode for free on
YouTube, but in this case Adult Swim has really and truly put together a
release that is worth buying. The extra
16 minutes of content along with the massively impressive list of special
features makes this disc more than worth owning for any fan of Star Wars, Robot Chicken, or hilarious things.
And you like hilarious things, don’t you? Of course you do.
- Matthew Carrick